RV and Mobile Home Accidents
If you have been on the highway in Seattle, Kirkland, Olympia, Bellingham, or anywhere in Washington State for that matter, you have undoubtedly seen large motor homes and recreational vehicles, known as RV’s. RV’s and mobile homes on wheels can be seen all across 405, I-5, highway 167, and many other highways across Washington State.
Given the beauty of Western Washington, many out of state people drive up in the summertime in their motor homes and RV’s to camp, hike, and sightsee in these vehicles.
These vehicles are not without risks, however. Between 2000 and 2007, 212 people were killed in RV and motor home accidents. In 2012, 75,000 people were injured in accidents with mobile homes and RV’s.Washington State RV and Mobile Home Accident Laws
RV’s or mobile homes are enormous vehicles that far outweigh a normal car, SUV, or truck. While you have to be over 21 years of age to drive an RV, you do not have to have a commercial driver’s license to drive an RV. A commercial driver’s license, or a CDL, is required for people who operate 18-wheelers or semi-trucks.
About 10% of drivers who operate RV’s or mobile homes are over the age of 55, and many are much older than that as RV’s are typically driven by retired people. This age groups has a much higher chance of getting into accident because they do not respond as well or as quickly to sudden events, do not have as strong of hearing or as clear of vision as younger people.
There are two overwhelming reasons for accidents where the driver of an RV is at fault for the accident. The first has to do with the sheer size of RVs. They are much larger than normal vehicles. As you can imagine, if someone goes from driving a normal car, truck, or SUV, and then they drive an RV for the first time, chances are high that they are not ready and equipped to operate such a large vehicle. Again, since Washington State does not make it mandatory for a driver to have a CDL, then the driver has no reason to be experienced operating these kinds of large and imposing vehicle, which is much more difficult to operate than a normal sized car.
The second reason is that most drivers are not used to driving these large vehicles. The first time someone drives an RV can be quite challenging and daunting. When driving these enormous vehicles, people may not be aware of just how long it can take to brake one. These vehicles do not brake as easily or as quickly as normal cars, SUVs, or trucks. Thus, they can be hard to control.
Finally, another inexperienced factor that can lead to an accident are blind spots and lane changes, which are combined. They are combined because many drivers do not know how to properly check a blind spot and because of that, they change lanes suddenly or without properly screening the blind spot for cars in the lane they are turning into, thus creating serious accidents. This can be a big problem for drivers of RVs who simply do not have the requisite experience.
Additional reasons for RV accidents are:
- Drivers who are not experienced with RVs
- High winds
- Runaway trailers
- Loading the RV with too many things and too much weight
- Turning too sharply
- Changing lanes too suddenly
- Not loading the RV correctly
- Blind spots
Other reasons for RV accidents when the driver is at fault:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver inexperience
- Driver inattention
- Driver distraction
- Tire blowouts
- Failing to check brakes
- Failing to maintain the RV
Sometimes RV owners fail to properly maintain their vehicles and they put their RVs on the road that have major problems, for a variety of reasons, ranging from brakes that are aging and faulty, tires that are bald and need replacing, and other mechanical issues that need addressed and fixed.
If you have been injured in an RV accident by a driver, then you shoulder bring a claim against the RV owner. Assuming the RV is insured, the insurance company will then defend their RV driver and you can attempt to settle your claim out of court or you may have to proceed to court to settle your claim. Without knowing the facts and circumstances of a particular case, it is hard to predict whether a case will settle out of court or will have to proceed all the way to trial to be resolved.Common RV Accident Injuries
If you have been in an accident with an RV, chances are you facing serious injuries. These vehicles are usually quite large, larger than normal cars or SUVs most commonly on the road. The most common injuries associated with RVs are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- ACL or MCL tears
- Broken bones
If you have suffered any of these injuries, the likelihood is not good that these injuries will resolve on their own. In most instances, you will have to see a medical professional to help you recover. Aside from primary care doctors, the most common kinds of healthcare providers to treat people who have been in accidents with pickup trucks are osteopaths, physiatrists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists.
Any of these healthcare providers can render quality care to you and they likely know the appropriate specialist who can treat you if you have been injured by a truck.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If you have been injured by an RV, then you are likely in one of the more difficult times of your life. You are likely facing phone calls from insurance companies, medical appointments, you may be losing money from work since you are unable to work, and many phone calls from insurance companies. If this is the case, why go through this process alone? The Jackman Law Firm can help you recover:
- Money for lost wages
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for medical bills
- Money for lost wages
The Jackman Law Firm can assist you with all of these things. In addition, we can stand between you and the insurance company for the RV. While it is not common, there are also instances when the RV’s insurance company may allege that you were either partly or completely at fault for the accident. If this unfortunate and untrue allegation is brought against you, then you need an attorney who can help you.
The Jackman Law Firm can assist you by sending subpoenas for any video footage that may have captured the accident, interviewing witnesses and bystanders, and speaking to the police, assuming an investigation was done. If it is clear that the vehicle was not properly maintained, then the Jackman Law Firm has the resources and experience to investigate the company internally and find out if the company was failing to properly maintain their vehicle, such as not checking and fixing their brakes, making sure the tires are properly maintained and inflated, and making sure the vehicle is safe to be on the road.
If you have questions about your RV accident, feel free to call for a free consultation to discuss your case.